Geotechnical aspects of the Pike River mine drift recoveryPublished Feb, 2021The Pike River mine exploded on the 19 November 2010. Thirty-one (31) men were working underground at the time of the explosion and only two men were able to escape. The Pike River Recovery Agency was established in January 2018 to conduct a safe manned re-entry and recovery of the Pike River mine drift to gather evidence to better understand what happened in 2010.
SCT Operations Pty Ltd (SCT) have been engaged to assist with the management of strata control hazards as part of the planning and implementation phases of the drift recovery. Initial geotechnical assessments comprised review of available historical geological and geotechnical information to develop a geotechnical baseline report and hazard map to assist with future planning and risk management.
A range of controls have been implemented to manage geotechnical risk to acceptable levels and to ensure that adequate levels of inspection, mapping, monitoring, assessment, and review are maintained at all stages of drift recovery. Additionally, 3D FLAC modelling, surface tunnelling simulations and field loading trials have been conducted to support proposed tunnelling through a Rocsil plug located at the top end of the drift to provide access the rock fall area which marks the end of the mandated drift recovery. Given most of the drift had not been physically inspected following the explosion a range of drillhole assessments comprising downhole camera and laser scanning was also conducted to improve understanding of the drift environment both prior to and during re-entry.
As part of operational implementation and continuous improvement processes modifications were made to both ground support systems and bolting equipment which significantly improved support cycle installation times.
SCT also supplied real-time roof monitoring instrumentation to the site which supplies an almost continuous data feed to the mine control room for interpretation and automatic alerting if TARP threshold levels are exceeded.
Development and Application of Strata Management in Coal Mines - Stuart MacGregorPublished Jan, 2005The continuing need to improve productivity and safety requires mine operators to both successfully manage the hazards associated with strata control whilst optimising mining practices. Recent experience in Australian coal and metalliferous mines has seen the introduction of legislation to ensure that adequate consideration is given to geotechnical design and strata control.
This paper outlines a rational approach for the development of a Roadway Strata Management System that is based upon the systematic assessment of strata behaviour during all stages of a roadways use and describes its application by Strata Control
Technology Pty. Ltd. at Ulan Coal Mines Limited. Development-and-Application-of-Strata-Management-in-Coal-Mines-S.MacGregor-2005.pdf519 KB
Determination of Load Transfer Characteristics of Gloved Resin Bolts from Laboratory and In-Situ Field Testing - Stuart MacGregor - Published 2005Published Feb, 2005Resin based grouts are the main form of rock bolt anchorage in the underground coal industry in Australia and New Zealand. To be effective, the system requires the mixing of the catalyst and mastic components of the resin, as well as shredding of the laminate cartridge that contains the resin.
An unknown measure is the load transfer characteristics of a bolt where the resin is well mixed but remains encased in the cartridge (gloved). Laboratory and in situ field investigations have been undertaken to quantify the performance loss due to mixed gloved bolts. This work showed repeatable results, indicating serious performance loss of the gloved and mixed system, with load transfer approximately 10-15% of a non-gloved system (MacGregor, 2004).
The in situ testing has demonstrated the relationship between the adhesion qualities of the resin and the mechanical interlock generated by radial confinement with progressively increasing tensile load. Effective load transfer is defined by the ability of the system to sustain shear stress on the bolt hole wall. Determination-of-Load-Transfer-Characteristics-of-Gloved-Resin-Bolts-from-Laboratory-and-In-Situ-Field-Testing-S.MacGregor.pdf1.3 MB
Instrumentation Monitoring at an Underground Mine to Establish Failure Mechanisms, Confirm Numerical Modelling and Determine Safe Working Conditions - Stuart MacGregorPublished Aug, 2017A number of potential failure modes were identified by observation and numerical modelling in the underground operation at Telfer Gold Mine. In order to gain a better understanding of the mechanisms of failure an instrumentation programme was designed. Monitoring methods included closure monitoring using tape, rod and sonic probe extensometers, stress monitoring, reinforcement monitoring with strain gauges, prism monitoring in the open pit and observation using a borehole camera.
The results from the monitoring instrumentation established local and regional failure mechanisms with greater certainty. The information allowed mining methods, extraction sequences and reinforcement requirements to be reliably designed, using numerical modelling as a tool.
Instrumentation was also installed to determine the ongoing stability of excavations which allowed safe working conditions to be identified throughout the mine. The aim of each type of instrumentation method is presented along with the interpretation of the monitoring results. The practical implications of each set of results are discussed and a cost breakdown for all the instrumentation types is included. Instrumentation-Monitoring-at-an-Underground-Mine-to-Establish-Failure-Mechanisms-Confirm-Numerical-Modelling-and-Determine-Safe-Working-Conditions-S.MacGregor.pdf2.2 MB
Investigation Into the Extent and Mechanisms of Gloving and Un mixed Resin in Fully Encapsulated Roof Bolts - Stuart MacGregorPublished Aug, 2017Effective strata control, utilising fully encapsulated roof bolts is dependent on the installed quality of the reinforcement elements. One mechanism by which roof bolts may become less than fully efficient is by glove fingering (gloving) and un-mixing of the resin. Following a routine installed bolt quality audit and some small roof failures containing gloved bolts, a work programme was initiated to determine the extent of the gloving and un-mixing problem and to develop an understanding of mechanisms involved. Results have shown that gloving and un-mixing is a systematic and widespread pheno mena, occurring across the range of resin and/or bolt manufacturers, and in a variety of roof types. Gloving was found in bolts installed using either hand held pneumatic or continuous miner mounted hydraulic bolting rigs, under run of mine (ROM) condition s by operators, and under controlled manufactures “best practice” conditions.
The mechanisms involved have been confirmed as being the development of a pressure front as the bolt encounters the resin cartridge and is spun up the hole, which in turn, leads to over -pressurisation and radial expansion of the resin cartridge. The result is an increase in the diameter of the plastic cartridge. Allowing the bolt to be spun up inside the cartridge without making sufficient contact to shred the cartridge or the hardener envelope, typically resulting in a portion of the cartridge enveloping the bolt and unmixed resin mastic and catalyst.
Once the mechanisms involved and extent of the problem became clear, further research was undertaken to assess alternative bolt profiles and modifications in an effort to minimise and/or eliminate the gloving and unmixing phenomenon. Research has been undertaken using recovered bolts from various mine sites, as well as test bench trials and the quantification of the loading characteristics of gloved bolts using strain gauge roof bolts.
To understand the impacts of gloved and un-mixed bolts on roof control, failure pathways and reinforcement requirements a FLAC 2D numerical simulation was undertaken, with the results being incorporated into the strata management plan for a particular operation. Laboratory data has been collected and analysed to assess magnitudes of resin pressure as the bolt encounters the cartridge1 and the effects of gloving and un-mixing on the load transfer characteristics of the resin bolt system. Investigation-Into-the-Extent-and-Mechanisms-of-Gloving-and-Un-mixed-Resin-in-Fully-Encapsulated-Roof-Bolts-S.MacGregor.pdf502 KB
Acoustic Scanner Analysis of Borehole Breakout to Define Stressfield Across Mine Sites in Sydney and Bowen Basins - Stuart MacGregor - Published 2002Published Feb, 2002The role of horizontal stress, its orientation and magnitude, in defining the behaviour of strata in underground coal mines has been well established. Poor panel layouts have led to gate end stress concentrations, roof falls and lost production. The ability to define the horizontal stress regime over a mine site has historically been limited to point measurements, in part due to technology and cost. Recent advances in the application of geophysical tools, notably the acoustic scanner (borehole televiewer) have resulted in a new technique to conduct stress measurements. By quantifying the nature of borehole breakout and the mechanical properties of rocks in which they occur, this technique provides the ability to:
• obtain a vastly greater number of measurements, both at different depths and spatial distribution, than other techniques such as overcoring or hydraulic fracturing
• readily obtain depth versus stress relationships
• define geotechnical domains on the basis of stress direction and in-situ stress magnitude for mine planning purposes
This paper presents an overview of the technique and presents case histories in its application at a mine site in the Sydney Basin, Australia. Acoustic-Scanner-Analysis-of-Borehole-Breakout-to-Define-Stressfield-Across-Mine-Sites-in-Sydney-and-Bowen-Basins-S.MacGregor.pdf666 KB
Definition of Stress Regimes at Borehole Mine and Regional Scale in the Sydney Basin through Breakout Analysis - Stuart MacGregor - Published 2003Published Feb, 2003The role of horizontal stress in affecting strata behaviour in underground coal mines has been well documented (Siddal and Gale1, Hebblewhite2, Mark3). In Australia, the nature and depth of the underground coal resources has resulted in high levels of horizontal stress, typically 2-3 times the vertical stress, and up to 9 times that expected by lithostatic burial. Horizontal stress impacts on all facets of strata behaviour, and is a fundamental input into the geotechnical design process.
Borehole breakout analysis, particularly using high resolution acoustic scanner images, provides the ability to collect large data sets that have significant depth and spatial coverage. In real terms this provides the ability to investigate a range of stress phenomena at different scales, and assess the factors controlling in situ and mining induced stress regimes.
This paper highlights a range of stress phenomena that have been observed through breakout analysis in the Sydney Basin and outlines the impact these have on underground mining operations. Definition-of-Stress-Regimes-at-Borehole-Mine-and-Regional-Scale-in-the-Sydney-Basin-through-Breakout-Analysis-S.MacGregor.pdf1.1 MB